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Acas Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures

employment solicitors discuss giving employers legal advice on grievance procedures and acas code

What is an employee grievance?

An employee grievance is a sense or feeling of unhappiness or injustice that an employee experiences in relation to their employment. This could be due to the nature of the job, including policies and procedures, especially with regard to those of the company’s management.

If your employee is unable to resolve the grievance informally, usually through HR or their line manager, they may make a formal grievance against your company.

How to handle employee grievances

As an employer, it is essential that you are fully aware of how to effectively deal with grievances in the workplace. As part of this, you are required to have a written grievance procedure that is available to all of your employees; this should detail how the grievance process works and the time frame in which grievances are dealt with.

It is imperative that your organisation is fully compliant with the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievances at Work.

What is the Acas Code of Practice?

The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures sets out clear and transparent processes for dealing with grievance procedures that arise due to difficulties in the working relationships from the employer’s or employee’s perspective.

The Acas Code replaced the more prescriptive statutory disciplinary procedure in April 2009. The Acas Code of Practice suggests parties ‘should’ rather than ‘must’ act in a certain way. If you or your employee do not follow the Acas Code in relation to the grievance procedure, Employment Tribunals can increase or reduce any compensation by up to 25%.

How the Acas Grievance Code affects your business

The Acas Code of Practice provides a course of action for any of your employees with a workplace complaint which cannot be resolved through normal communications with a line manager. The Acas grievance code of practice sets out clear and transparent procedures for raising and dealing with complaints and grievance procedures to ensure everyone is treated fairly and reasonably and in the same way in similar circumstances.

How we will help you handle an employee grievance

We provide a range of support and advice to help ensure you understand your responsibilities in handling Acas grievance procedures, including investigating complaints and managing grievance-related meetings or appeals. We can also help investigate an employee’s grievance or advise on how to manage the hearings and provide guidance on the decision-making process.

We can also train your managers to ensure they handle grievances in line with the Acas code of practice for grievance procedures from the outset to avoid problems escalating.

Contact us today on 01273 609911, or email


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